Skiing Holidays in Belle Plagne
Belle Plagne is one of 10 ski villages in the renowned French Alps ski resort of La Plagne, and if you’re looking for varied high-altitude skiing, a diverse section of bars, restaurants and off-piste activities, and an awesome ambience that blends modern convenience with traditional Savoyard conviviality, welcome home.
This car-free resort, at an altitude of 2050m, offers snow-sure skiing for enthusiasts of all levels, ski-in/ski-out accommodation options ideal for families, groups of friends, couples and solo skiers, and a lively après-ski culture.
Belle Plagne offers easy access to all 225km of La Plagne’s pistes and it’s also part of the wider Paradiski area, which boasts a further 200kms on the Les Arcs side of the Vanoise Express Cable Car. There are lots of blue runs here that are ideal for intermediate skiers, but the terrain also offers challenges for more advanced skiers too – professional guides can help you find some of the best off-piste descents in the Alps at the Bellecote Glacier.
Belle Plagne is a purpose-built resort that was created in 1981 by architect Michel Bezancon, and it heralded a return to more traditional Savoyard architecture rather than the more modern Bauhaus and Brutalist designs of some of its rival resorts. Consequently, you’ll see more iconic chalet-style architecture here, crafted with traditional materials like stone, wood and lauze tiles as opposed to concrete.
A south-facing resort laid out like an authentic mountain village, underground parking means that it’s reserved for pedestrians and skiers which, combined with doorstep skiing in some of the world’s most stunning scenery, means it’s particularly popular with families.
As you can see, Belle Plagne has all the essential ingredients for a fabulous French Alps ski holiday.
Skiing in Belle Plagne
With an admirable altitude of 2050m, a main season that typically lasts from mid-December to the end of April, a huge variety of pistes and easy access via an efficient lift network, Belle Plagne can satisfy any skier. Here are some highlights:
The slopes surrounding Belle Plagne are brilliant for beginner and intermediate skiers, with an array of wide, roomy pistes and cruising blue runs like Le Tunnel, which meanders down from Roche de Mio back to the resort.
Young children and novices of all ages can find their feet at a handy beginners area located just down from the village.
The Bellecote Glacier summit is 3417m and this is where advanced skiers can find some of the resorts toughest, most thrilling black runs and off-piste descents – particularly on the north face, which is permeated by tight couloirs and traverses.
Although it’s ideal for medium level skiers (you can cross the entire resort on blue runs), half of the runs in La Plagne are red or black, so it’s a mecca for advanced skiers too.
The La Plagne ski area features 40km of ski-touring trails and 186km of cross-country runs.
Download the Yuge app if you want to make the best of the entire Paradiski area – it creates the ideal itinerary for each day of your trip based on your location and ability level, alerts you to nearby après-ski attractions, updates you with real-time lift queue information and helps you keep track of your friends. But that’s not all, because you can also set personal and group challenges on the app, collect as many badges as possible and try to break into the Yuge Top 10 – perfect for skiers with a competitive streak!
All said, Belle Plagne is pretty much perfect for every type of skier – from those taking their first tentative steps on the slopes to adrenalin-fuelled Alpine experts who like to push themselves to the limit with off-piste adventures.
Snowboarding in Belle Plagne
Belle Plagne has much to recommend it to snowboarders as well as skiers and there are plenty of cracking areas where you can carve up the slopes and perfect your moves. Here’s the lowdown on boarding in Belle Plagne:
The Belle Plagne Terrain Park is designed to suit beginners and more advanced snowboarders. Le Petit Parc is accessed by the Col de Forcle button lift and is ideal for novices, while Le Grand Parc, situated at the top of Belle Plagne, has an air bag and 20 rails and tables.
Apart from the diverse rails of all sizes and descriptions, Le Grand Parc has a choice of a cannon run and 20ft red kicker and then you can choose between two kickers that swiftly follow back to back.
Every tabletop has two takeoffs, providing a total of four lines that range from small blue to large black booters of over 25ft.
There’s a 22ft superpipe that leads down the hill towards Bellecote and it’s fantastic fun when it’s in good condition.
The north face of the Bellecote Glacier offers the best off-piste runs for snowboarders too, and snowboarders can reach it via the Traverse chairlift – La Grande Face provides twisting, technical descents and La Petite Face Nord is the more classic route. Both of these runs afford a 2000m vertical to the charming village of Nancroix in the valley below.
The Mont St Jacques is another iconic run which takes you through trees and past ramshackle rural outhouses before joining a mountain bike trail and ending at the main road below the bobsled run.
Many of the pistes at La Plagne are spacey reds and blues, which are brilliant for carving up at speed and cruising around having a brilliant time with fellow boarders.
Snow Conditions in Belle Plagne
Belle Plagne is situated at 2050m high, 70% of the wider La Plagne resort is also above 2000m, and the high altitude slopes lead down from 3250m just below the Bellecote Glacier summit, so the resort is very snow-sure. Furthermore, the main La Plagne pistes and those at the lower villages have snow-making capacity, so there’s reliable snow cover throughout the entire season, meaning all villages in the resort are usually accessible by skis for the duration. Here’s some more useful information on ski conditions in Belle Plagne:
Resort elevation in La Plagne is 1207m – 3167m, and as a whole it is very snow-reliable – even the snowfall record for the lower villages is good, although they do often need topped up by snowmaking facilities.
The high-altitude slopes of La Plagne have an excellent snowfall record, averaging 232cm over the past five seasons.
The Bellecote gondola ferries you up to Roche de Mio, which provides access to the glacier and the resort’s highest skiing.
In the ski season you’ll typically experience more than 20cm of snowfall in any week and the skiing in La Plagne’s high-altitude north facing villages is excellent.
The wood lined runs in Montalbert and Montchavin Les Coches retain their snow very well, despite their low altitude – they’re a good bet in bad weather. However, the high bowls above 2000m have few trees and therefore visibility is poor during a blizzard.
The resort has an enviable record – in the most recent season there was 678cm total snowfall, a total of 48 snowfall days, a largest snowfall of 40cm, maximum base depth of 225cm, average base depth of 138cm, maximum summit depth of 490cm and average summit depth of 272cm.
Apres-Ski in Belle Plagne
Because it’s spread across so many villages, the après-ski in La Plagne isn’t the most legendary in the Alps, but Belle Plagne is the most entertaining of its villages and has enough varied bars and clubs to satisfy all but the most demanding party animals. Here’s a rundown of the après hotspots:
Le Saloon is bang in the middle of the resort and although it’s open from 4pm, it’s at its best in the small hours, when the dance floor is packed, DJs are hyping up the crowd and everyone’s busting moves until 5am.
Cheyenne Café is another central venue close to Le Saloon. It’s a cool American-themed bar with a huge selection of shots and a great place to start your evening in fine style.
La Tete Inn is an authentic Alpine bar with cosy carved ceiling beams, a great selection of beer, wine and other beverages and a wonderful warm ambience.
Scotty’s Bar is open from 9am until late and serves pub grub and refreshments – it’s a great place to mix and mingle at any time of the day.
Facilities in Belle Plagne
As if superb skiing, snowboarding and après-ski weren’t enough, Belle Plagne also offers exceptional off-piste activities. Boredom is banished thanks to snowshoeing, snowmobiling and paragliding, mountain biking, mountain karting and a free luge run – while bowling, keep fit and spa treatments will keep you busy for the rest of your visit. Here’s a little more about the brilliant facilities in Belle Plagne:
Ski Hire in Belle Plagne
As you’d expect, there are several specialist shops in the area where you can buy or rent ski equipment, so you’re free to take your chances organising your gear when you get there.
However, organising ski hire as part of your Erna Low ski holiday package has several advantages – it’s more convenient as you’ll pick up your kit from a shop near your location without having to queue and we can advise on the best equipment for your skiing style and standard.
Haven’t yet included ski hire in your deal? it’s no hassle to amend your booking – contact us online or call 020 7584 2841 for a chat.
Ski Passes in Belle Plagne
Grabbing your Belle Plagne ski passes from Erna Low is also a pretty sweet idea, considering that we advise you on the most suitable passes for your ability and send them to you prior to departure so that you can hit the slopes swiftly on arrival. We also have special offers available throughout the season and discounts available for certain types of groups – talk to us when booking your holiday and we’ll advise on which passes and deals offer the best value for money and most satisfying skiing.
Spa and Pool in Belle Plagne
Several ski accommodation options in Belle Plagne have in-house spas and pools that you can enjoy just a few steps from your door, but if you’re yearning to ramp up the luxury even more, spoil yourself with a trip to Deep Nature’s La Plagne Bains & Spa, a 1500m sq spa with spectacular mountain views – there’s an adults-only area and a sensory trail for all.
Elsewhere, Spa Bellecote in Plagne Bellecote is found in the Galerie Commercial and offers beauty treatments as well as osteopathy and massage, and there are quality swimming pools in Belle Plagne, Plagne Bellecote, Plagne Centre and Champagny-en-Vanoise.
Shops in Belle Plagne
Whether your plastic’s burning a hole in your pocket and you’re in serious need of retail therapy, or you simply want to pick up a few essentials, there’s a good selection of shops in Belle Plagne and across the resort of La Plagne. At the Spar supermarket in Belle Plagne you can pick up everyday groceries and keep your chalet or apartment fully stocked and the Belle Plagne Tourism Office provides free Wi-Fi for visitors.
Facilities for Children in Belle Plagne
Children have plenty to keep them occupied on and off the slopes in Belle Plagne – here’s the lowdown:
Ski Schools in Belle Plagne
Kids of all ages love Belle Plagne because its ski community nurtures snowsports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. We recommend a couple of ski schools of particularly high standards:
Oxygene is an English-speaking ski school with expert instructors and over 20 years in the business. It meets next to the Tyrolean drag lift in Belle Plagne – you won’t miss the bright blue flags and banners.
ESF is another highly rated Belle Plagne ski school and its dynamic program has 10 different levels for children and a diverse range of adult classes.
If none of the above meet your requirements, Erna Low can also arrange private ski lessons that are tailor-made to meet your unique needs – contact us online and we can easily arrange.
Entertainment in Belle Plagne
Across La Plagne, there’s a lot to keep children occupied. Colorado Luge in Plagne Centre is a one-mile sledge run that’s cracking fun, there’s free storytelling at Enchanted Pastures in Plagne Montalbert and a well-maintained kids playground at Plagne Vallee.
Childcare in Belle Plagne
There are several childcare options in Belle Plagne, so families with young children can holiday here with peace of mind. The ESF caters for children from the age of 3 years and there are some nanny agencies in the area so call us if you would like some more information.
Belle Plagne Mountain Info
Belle Plagne’s altitude of 2050m means snow conditions are usually excellent for skiers and snowboarders alike.
Skiing in the immediate vicinity is characterised by sweeping easy blue runs, while there’s more challenging on- and off-piste skiing at the Roche De Mio. Belle Plagne offers doorstep skiing from your accommodation and an excellent lift system makes it easy to reach the rest of the resort.